Sunday, November 26, 2017

Cali - Day 11 - this is going to be FUN, right? (Spoiler - no.) Day 12 - home...

So, like most of the vacation, I got up before everyone so that I could get a good run in. I planned this specifically for the parking lot and the fact that we were right by the Castro District. THE GAY MOTHER SHIP!
Oh my gawd. I could spend an entire week in Castro alone!

EVERYTHING was gay! Iconic pictures, rainbows everywhere (including The Gap, aka Gay Gap), The Sound of Music sing-along at a local theater. It was awesome! I wish the boys and Bub were runners (or even walking sightseers) because this was fantastic. I (mostly) ran up a very steep hill, and then flew back down it. If I lived in San Fran, I would have buns of steel, for sure!
Check it out - they even have the gay version of the Hollywood walk of fame, but ours is more historical and much nicer. No trashy strip malls, no disgusting vape shops or cheap liquor stores. Nope - the gays keep their walk of fame nice and spiffy!

After my run, I returned to the hotel prepared to shower and hit the town. We had planned a harbor cruise, more Chinatown, Japantown, the big ships museum, the aquarium, and Fisherman's Wharf.
Instead, I was informed that Meatball felt sick, and Bub had a screaming headache.
This hotel was NOT fancy by any means, and I wasn't about to spend a day in it waiting for people to get better, so we called it a trip and checked out early.

Sadly, we headed home.....

We stopped at the Donner Pass museum. I found it fascinating, and like usual, everyone else found it boring as crap.

After lunch, we pressed onward to Winnemucca where the first thing that greets you as you exit the freeway is the local cemetery.
Well, at least our hotel here was nice. But, it didn't have an elevator. Weird - and inconvenient when you're on the second floor.

Day 12 - this was the least exciting part of the trip. THIS is why people fly to San Fran instead of drive. Holy BORING!
Imagine driving to Wendover from Tooele, but for 1000 years. That's the drive from Winnemucca to home.

I would totally do this again.
It was a lot of driving, and it was a lot of bellyaching from the back seat, and it was actually a lot of bellyaching from the front seat, too.
But it was fantastic.

California - heading north - Day 10

After we managed to tear ourselves away from the Telford family, we headed north again.
(Really, this was a very well planned trip, if I may say so myself!)
We went from Chowchilla to Santa Cruz. I would live here in a heartbeat, too!

The entire reason for going to Santa Cruz was to see Aunt Bernice. This is Kelley's aunt, and she is 95 or 96! Such a classy lady. Sweet as pie, and wonderfully gracious. Her son, Eric, was in town for his yearly visit from South Africa.

After lunch with Aunt Bernice, Eric took us down to the harbor to play a bit. This wasn't really a beach to hang out on, but it was a very fun and well maintained harbor. All of the boats and yachts come in and out of this harbor, and there is a restaurant overlooking the entire thing. A lighthouse on the end of the harbor made this a picture perfect spot.
When we come back here someday, we'll go to the amusement park in town (which I didn't know existed until we saw it from the lighthouse harbor which is silly because - apparently - it's a big deal).

Want to guess what happened next? Yup - back in the car and headed to San Fran! This was an awesome long tunnel. Why are tunnels so much fun?

Once in San Fran, we found our hotel - a complete crap hole in downtown, but we didn't have to pay for parking our car, so that was a plus.
We complained about the room for about 45 minutes, and then we complained about the location of being practically IN the parking lot (which I did NOT choose, may I add - I said the back area on the 2nd floor would be great, but noooooo).
Finally, we decided that we were hungry and wanted to go to dinner.
I don't remember the name of the restaurant, but it was GOOD.

California - rest day and broiling heat - day 8

We managed to get zero pictures of Chowchilla - probably because we were too busy, and our brains were fried!
I started the day by running two laps around Roch's community. It was about five miles, and a very nice area. Palm trees and a couple hundred houses that all look the same, but a nice area. I saw a tortoise! Cute little guy....

Then, we packed up all of the boys and went to the trampoline park for a couple of hours. Brilliant inventions, trampoline parks. Cool in the summer and warm in the winter. When that was done, we went to the skate park where there were no people hanging out. Why? Because it was 109*.
The skate park didn't last long. We were miserable. So, we went to Dave & Busters instead. THIS was a blast. The grown-ups had a couple of beers and the boys ran around and played video games. Perfect!
After dinner, we went back to Roch's for movies and margaritas.
We would move on the next day.

In fact, here's a picture of the main road out of Chowchilla the next day.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Cali - Day 7 - Central coast - not enough time

Oh, I just love it here. Next time, we'll just spend all of our time here. It's so kicked back and groovy and surf vibing.... (is vibing a word?)

I got up and took myself for a run.
Los Osos is located on the tidal flat, and the Chumash Indians used to collect fish and shellfish, and when I ran along here, I could clearly see how and why.
The morning was foggy and misty. The temperature was perfect.
First, I followed the trail to the flat, and then just went where the path went. This took me along a muddy path until I wasn't able to continue without really messing up my shoes (which, by the way, isn't a big deal unless you live with Bub - packing muddy shoes in the car with anything of hers? No.) So, I turned back a bit and then took a different path through the area. Groovy little place...

Then, I found the Elfin Forest sign. What the...? Elfin Forest? Yes - it's a thing.
Prehistoric sand dunes with a thing called "Coast live oak." Apparently, poor soil, constant wind, and salt spray will stunt your growth.
Literally, nothing here was taller than me, and most of it was lower than my shoulders. The local community has come together to purchase this land, and it's a cute little protected 90 acres when a series of walking paths and a boardwalk through a certain section. Little rollers added to the fun, and I met a few people along the path.

Once I returned and showered, we ate breakfast and cleaned up. We packed our stuff and headed out to see more of the coast before heading inland to see our friends.

Since it was still chilly, we stopped at Morro Bay and got a coffee and hot chocolate. I LOVE Morro Bay.
We didn't do anything exciting. We just walked around the streets by the coast and checked stuff out. The boats, the seals barking, Morro Rock, the signs that talked about the significance of Morro rock, the many dogs taking walks.
I would move here in a heartbeat. I've always loved it here.

Then, another beach - completely awesome - Pismo. I also love it here and have since 1990....
I wish we could have gone clamming. You just need a bucket, a shovel, and a desire to get to the beach before 6am.
But, playing is better than clamming. (You know what I love about kids? They can make friends with anyone because they haven't built up their walls yet.)

AND, then just like that, we hit the road again.
This time, Siri suggested a path that would save us ten minutes. Siri didn't tell us that it was like riding the Wild Mouse!!
This road was up and down and up and down and curvier than a Lane Bryant model.
We had so much fun flying down this road. We passed three other cars, maybe, and we got to see some beautiful farmland, hills, horses, roadside stands where we ate some of the biggest cherries that we've ever eaten.

But finally, we arrived in Chowchilla. It felt like we had been driving for seven days (which we had), and we were tired. We pulled into the Telford driveway cheers erupted! And, margaritas were mixed! And video games were played! And lots of burgers and noodle salad and chicken and chips were eaten.

Cali - Day 6 - Goodbye, LA - Hello, Central coast!

So very happy to leave LA. What a hole.
We stopped at Santa Monica Pier on our way out of town. Had I known more, we would have just rented in THIS area! This was MUCH better, MUCH nicer, MUCH cooler...
Oh, and pretty and clean and fun!
Crowded, too. Very crowded, but who cares when you're having this much fun?

After six days of listening to them fight in the back seat (and in the hotel room, and the restaurant, and changing room, and on the sidewalk, and....), it was great to see them playing and having a great time.

And, of course, funnel cakes to celebrate the wonderful day.

And, then we hit the road again to get to our next destination: Los Osos.
The drive was wonderful - beautiful land, and decent traffic. We took our time and arrived in Los Osos right before dinner.
We got checked in to our BnB with a VERY chatty host. Once we finally extricated ourselves from her conversation trap, we went out to the local greasy spoon. Literally, greasy - and delicious! OMG - big burgers, awesome fries and onion rings, huge portions (too huge!) - just an awesome place.
Then, we went back to our room (without a TV - which pissed everyone off except for me), and went to sleep.

Cali - Day 5 - Los Angeles - So very NOT wow

We expected traffic. Check.
We expected a lot of people. Yep.
We expected an environment that look the same as it does on TV when a new celebrity gets a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Seriously - we (mostly Peanut and Bub) had been looking forward to THIS for next to forever. I mean, THIS is Hollywood.
And Barbra has a star here! And, we might even see Logan Paul!

But, guess what we got?
Wannabe rappers selling shitty CDs on the street for $2-$3.
We practically got high every other block. There were people smoking pot everywhere! And, there were cops everywhere! Nobody cared, and there couldn't possibly be that many sick people in LA needing medical marijuana! Good night!

What we expected? Glamour.
What we got? Lingerie shops, cheap tchotchkes, trashy people wearing trashy clothes and using trashy words.
Did you know that every time they show a new star getting his/her star on the walk of fame, there is a cigarette shop directly behind the whole ceremony that is conveniently edited out by either clever camera placement or great photoshop abilities.

And, a blast from the past!
Sadly, now that I'm older and I have a ridiculous need to follow the punctuation rules that I was taught in all of the grades, I now know that these ladies did NOT pay attention in school. They are a multiple and NOT in possession of something. Therefore, the apostrophe is incorrectly placed, and it drives me crazy. It's printed on their albums, and it's right here on the walk of fame for the entire universe to see.

After walking around for a couple of hours in the baking heat and not seeing anybody famous and very few people who had even showered, we went back to our hotel. Bummed out, hot and sweaty, tired, and hungry, we decided to have lunch and figure out what we would do for the rest of the day.
Little did everyone know, but I finally found our first step towards stardom! Head shots!
I tried multiple places where we could go in and meet with a talent agent type of person, but - really - they don't want to even sneeze at you if you don't have a manager. Managers don't want to give you the time of day if you don't have head shots.
So, we got head shots!
Now, our photographer was rather sketchy, and his front room / studio may also serve as a place in which you could buy the "medicinal" pot that you're smelling just 4 blocks away on Hollywood Boulevard, and he had dirty dishes in his sink, but otherwise, nice enough.... [shudder]
Here's what it looks like from behind the scenes:
Gawd - aren't they adorable?!?!

Oh, Hollywood. You're such a tease.